Let life's colours fly

Let life's colours fly

Life has so many things that can bring a twinkle to your eyes and a smile to your lips. Rachna Chhabria recommends twelve to-dos that are sure to get you high on positivity throughout the year.

Another year has crept up on us, like so many years before it. Every year we postpone things with excuses ranging from “I don’t have the time, resources or the energy” to “I will do this when I retire or after my children are settled or when my finances are in a better shape”.

Things once put on the backburner seldom see the light of the day, because life and work play such a spoilsport. Let’s make positive use of the 365 days that are smiling at us invitingly.

Embrace physical change

Practically every one of us has secret desires that we have not succumbed to. Maybe a trendy haircut that you think you will be unable to pull off. Maybe a beard that we have been dying to grow or shave off. Perhaps a hair streaking that you have postponed forever. A tattoo that has you lusting after it or a nose or ear-piercing that has you dilly dallying. This year resolve to take that risk. Go for that change in your physical appearance. It will make you fall in love with your new self.

Read a book a month

In the hustle bustle of life, books get literally pushed back into the shelves, with the excuse of lack of time. This year make it a point to read at least a few classics that had garnered rave reviews during their time of publishing. Reading makes us explore the world in a way and meet new people in the book. The pages of a book take us on a wonderful journey of discovery. If classics are not your cup of tea, read a few inspirational books that are packed with positive energy. These books will change your perspective towards life and fill you with optimism.

Try a new hobby

Due to myriad reasons we put off learning a new hobby or skill and then it becomes too late to venture into that terrain. Fulfill that childhood dream that has been postponed forever. Eager to learn dancing, piano, classical singing, a new language, cooking, computer, yoga, painting, photography, or whatever it is that had captured your heart in its grip. Nothing like learning something new that brings back the colour into one’s monotonous life.

Watch a classic movie

Acquaint yourself with a classic movie. Watch a classic movie that had people of your parent’s generation in raptures. Rent out a DVD and subdue your senses as the old movies had less noise and more story, coupled with great acting. Get engrossed in real cinema for a change. For the older generation it’s the opposite. Watch a current movie that has your children enthralled. What they consider current classic. Perhaps it will have you rolling with laughter and you will get a sneak peek into what your children consider entertainment.

Give in to wanderlust

Our bucket list of places to visit in one’s lifetime is always overcrowded. Start checking the places by visiting the one nearest and most affordable. Nothing excites a human mind like a new place with its unique culture, monuments and people. Journeys can be both exciting and enriching.

Sample a new cuisine

Food monotony can suck the flavour from food and life. After all how long can you eat the same food day in and day out without losing the taste for it. Try out a new cuisine to tantalize and tickle your taste buds. Whether you enjoy it or not, it will at least end up giving you appreciation for your own cuisine. You can take this one step further and learn to cook a new cuisine.

Get close to Mother Nature

Plant a tree or grow your own terrace garden. Life in cities separates us from mother nature in a big way. Space constraints makes plants a distant friend. For those of us living in apartments, a garden is a dream that we can never fulfill in this lifetime.  But potted plants can satisfy our gardening dreams in a small way. Certain plants and vegetables thrive in pots which can sit in our balconies and fulfill our craving for nature. And watching what we have planted grow and blossom every single day, fills us with silent wonder.

Clean up your attics

Things that we don’t need or use can clog up our living space. Here, the great Indian storing mentality rears its monstrous head. None of us like to part with objects, clothes, or gadgets that we have not used for years. We store them in the hope that someday in future we will find some use for it. This is meaningless wishful thinking and it manifests itself in other areas of our lives too. It is time to unclutter and move on. 

Get some “Me Time” 

The twenty four hours in a day fly by the speed of lightning. Work, family, household chores, commuting and TV act like leeches and suck away the time. The ‘I’ gets subsumed in ‘everyone.’ Even fifteen minutes of “me time” (time reserved solely for oneself) can do wonders in one’s life. Call it meditation time, time for introspection, or time to plan the next day. Or it could be the time to just relax by listening to one’s favourite music or reading a few paragraphs from our perennial favourite book is something we all need. In this rat race we get to know a lot of things, but we forget to acquaint ourselves with our own self. The “me time” can be used for introspection: Why did I lose my temper? Why did that person’s comments hurt me? What is my body trying to tell me? 

Maintain a diary

This one is a classic! If you don’t already maintain a diary, try it sometime. It is a great way of not just recording your life but also venting out stress. These days, most people are caught up in their own worlds and even your close ones might feel over-crowded if you get too emotionally dependant. A diary can come to your rescue like nothing else. Simply pouring your heart out into it can do wonders to you. Psst... Remember to hide it well.

Spend time with family

Earning a livelihood ensures that we have no time for anything else in life. Work keeps us busy to the extent that we forget our parents and children; one set is responsible for our presence on Earth and the other set is dependent on us. Before we realize it, our parents have left us for their ultimate journey and the children have flown the coop in search of careers, without us ever having spent quality time with them. Make it a ritual to spend time with both - one’s parents and children.

Support an NGO

Reaching out to the unfortunate and helping mitigate their suffering is a wonderful way to help society. There are a plethora of NGOs that do wonderful work. Supporting them in our own small way goes a long way in lighting up someone’s life. Do not think only along the lines of donating money. Instead, how about donating some time for volunteering for good causes? Adopt the policy of out with the old and in with the new. There are so many things that fill your heart with joy. Bring a twinkle in your eyes and a smile on your lips. Let this new year be the start of something beautiful…

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